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Hip Labral Tears Treatment Options

What are the treatments for a labral year?

Treatment options depend upon the cause and severity of the tear and pain. Typically treatment will involve a trial of conservative treatment for 10 – 12 weeks. This includes:

  1. Rest: Taking a break from activities that aggravate the hip joint can help reduce symptoms and give the labrum time to heal.
  2. Physical therapy: A physical therapist can design exercises to improve hip strength, flexibility, and stability, which can help alleviate symptoms and prevent further injury.
  3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medications can help reduce pain and inflammation in the hip joint.
  4. Injection therapy: Corticosteroid injections can be used to help reduce inflammation and pain in the hip joint. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections may also be used to help promote healing.
  5. Activity modification: Adjusting activities that put stress on the hip joint can help reduce symptoms and allow the labrum to heal. This may include avoiding high-impact activities, such as running or jumping.

If these nonsurgical treatments don’t provide sufficient relief, Dr. Godin may recommend regenerative medicine including therapeutic injections into the joint including steroids, platelet rich plasma, or stem cells obtained from the patient.

What is surgery for labral tears?

The choice of treatment depends on the size of the tear, your pain and dysfunction and your anatomy.  Surgery may be arthroscopic or open surgery.  The goal of labral surgery is to preserve healthy labral tissues to maintain joint stability and prevent arthritis. Dr. Godin will decide on the appropriate procedure.

Arthroscopy may be used for selective debridement or resection, or reconstruction to maintain functional hip mechanics.

  • Arthroscopic labral debridement: For labral tears that are stable and likely to heal arthroscopic labral debridement would be beneficial to remove torn pieces of the labrum to prevent additional damage to the joint and treat pain.
  • Arthroscopic labral repair: If the labrum tear is unstable, labral repair may involve repair of the labrum by surgically reattaching the labrum to the bone. If the tear is small, Dr. Godin may choose to reinforce the tear with a tissue graft from your own body or a donor to reinforce the labrum.
  • Hip Preservation surgery: This type of surgery aims to preserve the natural anatomy of the hip joint while addressing the labral tear. It may involve osteotomy, reshaping the bones of the hip joint, or repairing the labrum using advanced techniques, such as the capsular plication procedure. Capsular plication involves tightening the hip joint capsule, a fibrous structure that surrounds the hip joint and helps to stabilize it.
  • When the damage is beyond repair, Dr. Godin will reconstruct the labrum with tissue grafts from your own body or a donor to recreate the suction seal and restore stability.

Arthroscopic surgery is the most common type of surgery used to repair a labral tear. Because arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure it can be performed as an outpatient procedure.

Hip arthroscopy is an effective treatment for hip and groin pain caused by hip impingement and labral tears

Recovery from minimally invasive arthroscopy

Most people who have arthroscopic surgery for a labral tear recover quickly and have little pain.

After surgery you will use crutches for about 2 – 6 weeks and go to physical therapy to improve pain, strength, and mobility. Full recovery from surgery may take several months.

You’ll likely need to avoid strenuous activities for at least six weeks after surgery. Most people can return to their previous level of activity within three to four months. A high percentage of elite athletes return to the same level of competition after hip arthroscopy.

If you have a more extensive tear or your hip is not stable, you may need open surgery to repair the tear. Open surgery requires a larger incision than arthroscopic surgery. Recovery from open surgery takes longer than recovery from arthroscopic surgery.

Dr. Jonathan Godin is an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician. He specializes in advanced arthroscopic and reconstructive surgical techniques for the treatment of complex disorders of the knee, hip and shoulder including cartilage and resurfacing procedures. He has cared for professional athletes from the NFL, MLB, NHL, ATP/WTA, PGA and was team physician for the US Men’s and Women’s Alpine Ski Teams. Contact Dr. Godin at Vail Orthopedic Surgery with offices in Vail, Frisco or Edwards, Colorado to schedule a consultation where you can receive the correct diagnosis and all your treatment options.

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